Have you played Ron Gilbert’s 1990 adventure game The Secret of Monkey Island? That might depend how old you are, or how interested you were in point and click adventure games in 2009, when the special edition was released.
Just before Monkey Island’s release, Gilbert wrote an article for Chris Crawford’s The Journal of Computer Game Design. The piece, titled “Why Adventure Games Suck,” detailed some rules of thumb he felt designers should consider in order to make their games more cohesive and accessible, and thus more entertaining.
In this video we’ll take a look at The Secret of Monkey Island through the lens of Gilbert’s design philosophies during the late 1980s. It’s worth noting that these rules were put on paper 30 years ago; as expected, Gilbert’s ideas have evolved since then.
For Gilbert’s more recent musings, you can follow his blog, Grumpy Gamer.